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Fleets need to adopt a range of strategies to keep driver walkround checks interesting otherwise complacency quickly sets in, according to FleetCheck.

The company has reported it regularly sees examples of businesses where the risk management effectiveness of the checks has declined over time because of familiarity.

“The walkaround check is very much at the frontline of risk management for fleets, whether it is the formal and controlled checks that commercial vehicle drivers have to complete under VOSA regulations, or a simple tyres, levels and lights check for a company car driver,” said FleetCheck managing director, Peter Golding.

“What these checks have in common is they are prone to complacency over time, that drivers start to tick the boxes without really looking properly at the areas they are supposed to be inspecting. It’s simply a case of overfamiliarity – a very human problem.”

Golding said he believed the solution lies in a combination of incentives and enforcement, ensuring driver interest was maintained.

“At one level, you need to underline from a corporate point of view that these checks are part of the responsibilities of each driver and that you take them very seriously. Failing to carry them out should be a disciplinary offence and there should be an audit system.

“At another level, you can add interest to the checks by using communications such as email and social media to remind drivers why it is important to carry out these checks, and the safety issues that can arise as the result of a failure to do so.

“You need to keep the whole subject fresh.”